From: Las Vegas, NV
School: Southern Utah University
Technology Advancements Advocating for Addiction
With the development and advancement of the world, addiction is increasing as well. More and more people are spending too much time on one thing, and not enough time on the things that matter. This process starts out as an intense desire, which leads to obsession, and finally addiction. There are many factors to take into consideration when contemplating the increase in addiction, but technology is the preeminent culprit. Specifically, the increase in social media development is increasing the advocacy of addiction which negatively impacts individuals and our society as a whole. By promoting positive habits and lifestyles, coupled with love and support, we as people can improve the welfare of both individuals and society suffering from addiction, beginning with the liberation of one person at a time.
Social media is the biggest platform that presents advertisements, promotions, and propaganda—which gives it a way to popularize addictions. From unhealthy habits to detrimental lifestyles, social media allows for addiction to creep into people’s lives by making these negative attributes look “trendy.” Many people are influenced by social media, therefore are more susceptible to following these trends. Social media makes addictions like alcohol, gambling, and pornography look acceptable and even beneficial. Though some may easily turn their back on these things, what they don’t realize is the biggest addiction given by social media is social media itself. It can be qualified as both a substance and behavioral addition, significantly impacting the brain. An addiction to social media is similar to that of drug addiction because “self-disclosure on social networking sites lights up the same part of the brain that also ignites when taking an addictive substance” (Addiction Center: Social Media Addiction). In other words, too much time on social media has the same effect as drug intake. This is still impacting individuals and all of society today, whether or not they realize it.
So what are the actual effects of addiction on individuals and society? Overall, it negatively impacts the psychological, physical, and behavioral aspects of a human. Specifically, the psychological repercussions are depression, anxiety, and paranoia. According to Drug Abuse’s article titled “Long Term Drug Addiction Effects,” “drug abuse can actually increase a [person’s] risk of developing a mental disorder.” Consistent and intense devotion to a substance or behavior can cause someone to lose the conscious part of their brain that tells them to stop partaking of that harmful substance or behavior. More substance-like addictions, namely drugs and alcohol, have intense physical consequences that affect organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart. The more someone partakes of physical addiction, the more their body deteriorates and becomes less likely to gain back full functionality. Additionally, addictions ultimately change people by altering their way of thinking, acting, and behaving; it completely and utterly consumes people, and each day living in addiction makes it that much harder to come back. All these components affect the friends and family of addicted individuals as well because of the sympathy and attempted support given. Since individuals, friends, and families are affected by addiction, so is society because individuals make up a society. So if countless individuals are tormented by addiction, then the society as a whole will languish. Addiction can attach itself to one person, but it can be like a disease and spread to others, ultimately engulfing everyone in a never-ending cycle of addiction.
Nevertheless, there is still a way to avoid this awful fate. Despite the ultimate, dreadful consequences of addictions, we as individuals can lighten the dark path of those suffering from addiction by providing support, love, and recovery programs for them. Since addictions affect a person’s physical and mental behavior, we can each become advocates for physical and mental health by spreading awareness for it and providing books, emails, letters, magazines, websites, and anything else that aids in addiction recovery to those affected. It is not enough to share a photo that says “Mental Health Awareness” on Instagram. Taking effective action would be to share programs and advice from medical professionals to those suffering from addictions. Similarly, we can follow steps to help our loved ones on their road to recovery. VeryWell Mind has a 4-step method listed in their article titled “How to Help an Addictive Friend or Relative.” In chronological order, these are the steps: Establishing Trust, Getting Help for Yourself First, Communicating, and aiding in The Treatment Process. By following these guidelines, we can assist others on their road to recovery and provide other means as well. Furthermore, there is not enough funding for addiction recovery programs as there should be. Many people don’t attend meetings because they can’t access them, or they can’t afford them. By providing adequate funds for addiction recovery programs, and giving support when it’s appropriate, we as a society can overcome addiction together. These steps will benefit individuals, which will largely affect our society in a positive manner. By replacing the good with the bad, we are making the world safer and protecting people from addiction.
Addiction has significantly increased because of the increase in social media. Once a new trend is promoted, everyone hops on, and few get off. Some lead to healthy interests while others lead to detrimental addictions. The effects are destructive to all aspects of a human being: physical, psychological, and behavioral. The people around them become distressed, and soon society is in a constant loop of depression. However, addiction can be overcome by support, love, addiction recovery programs, and kindness. Social media isn’t bad, but it can promote the most evil things. We as a society mustn’t let the advancement of technology advance addiction or any bad lifestyle for that matter. Instead of using social media to promote diets, gambling, pornography, or substance use, we should use it to be an advocate for mental and physical health, good behaviors and lifestyle, and productive welfare. Let’s change the outlook on social media by changing the way we use it.